Whitney Houston

Ron Galella/WireImage

With Whitney Houston's sudden death Saturday, tonight's 54th Annual Grammy Awards will not only coronate a new star, but say farewell to a legend.

As previously reported, Jennifer Hudson will take part in a "respectful musical tribute" to the late Houston, who was herself a six-time Grammy winner.  

Here's a rundown of the other top storylines to watch at the show:

1. The Ascent of Adele: While Houston's death can't help but hang over the proceedings, the young British singer should still rise above, with her scheduled performance, her expected big wins and her unique position to authentically address the night's other poignant subject: Amy Winehouse.

2. The Return of Chris Brown: Three years after he assaulted Rihanna and spent Grammy night in jail instead of on the Grammy stage, where he was scheduled to perform, the nominated "Look at Me Now" singer is once again on the show roster.

3. The Mystery of Rihanna: Three years after she spent Grammy night in seclusion instead of on the Grammy stage, where she was scheduled to perform, too, she's set to jam with Coldplay, and confound observers should she continue her relaxed relations with Brown. 

4. The Coming Out of Katy Perry: Just last year, Russell Brand was a supportive spouse who trolled backstage; come this year's show, his soon-to-be ex will be on her own, and in the spotlight—as a nominee, a performer and a single lady.

5. The Passing of the E Street Band Torch: Bruce Springsteen and gang will take the Grammys stage with Jake Clemons, nephew of sax stalwart Clarence Clemons, who died last June.

LL Cool J, Grammy Awards

Robert Voets/CBS

6. The Revival of the Debate: Does the Grammys Really Need a Host? Well, in any case, it's a got one: LL Cool J, the telecast's first since Queen Latifah helped move things along in 2005.

7. The Most-Unexpected Reunion of Them All: With all respect to whatever's going on or not with Brown and Rihanna, the Grammys' biggest coup came when somebody somehow convinced Brian Wilson and his long-estranged Beach Boys bandmates, including Mike Love and Al Jardine, to put aside their differences, and mash things up with Foster the People and Adam Levine's Maroon 5.

8. The Steve Jobs Factor: The music-industry's savior was set to receive a posthumous honor for being the music industry's savior in a special ceremony Saturday. Look for the award—and Jobs—to be acknowledged on Sunday's telecast.

9. The Award Cutbacks That You'll Never Know About...: The prime-time telecast, airing starting at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS, will be the same as it ever was: Three-and-a-half hours of performances, with a few trophies handed out here and there.

10. Until the Slashed Artists Let the Recording Academy Have It: The decision to downsize the Grammys by more than 30 categories is drawing protests, and the scrutiny of civil-rights activist Jesse Jackson. Expect some choice sound bites.

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